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Bury St Edmunds to get Hollywood-style walk of fame

Left to right: Andrew Speed, Bury Town Council chairman and Our Bury St Edmunds director, Mike Kirkham, Our Bury St Edmunds marketing officer, Julia Read, head of development at the Theatre Royal, Mark Cordell, Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive, and Vince Canning from Coastline Graphics Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

Left to right: Andrew Speed, Bury Town Council chairman and Our Bury St Edmunds director, Mike Kirkham, Our Bury St Edmunds marketing officer, Julia Read, head of development at the Theatre Royal, Mark Cordell, Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive, and Vince Canning from Coastline Graphics Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

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Bury St Edmunds is to host its very own Hollywood-style walk of fame to celebrate some of the famous faces who have graced the town's historic theatre over the years.

The trail will be launched in Bury St Edmunds town centre in May. Left to right: Andrew Speed, Bury Town Council chairman and Our Bury St Edmunds director, Mike Kirkham, Our Bury St Edmunds marketing officer, Julia Read, head of development at the Theatre Royal, Mark Cordell, Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive, and Vince Canning from Coastline Graphics Picture: MICHAEL STEWARDThe trail will be launched in Bury St Edmunds town centre in May. Left to right: Andrew Speed, Bury Town Council chairman and Our Bury St Edmunds director, Mike Kirkham, Our Bury St Edmunds marketing officer, Julia Read, head of development at the Theatre Royal, Mark Cordell, Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive, and Vince Canning from Coastline Graphics Picture: MICHAEL STEWARD

The Theatre Royal Star Trail will see stars of famous actors placed on the pavement in prominent positions in the town centre from May.

Bury’s own take on the visitor attraction on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles has already raised close to £10,000 through sponsorship for the theatre – which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

Famous names on the trail include Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Judy Dench and Joanna Lumley.

MORE: Bury’s Theatre Royal launches 200th anniversary celebrations

Andrew Speed, Our Bury St Edmunds board member and Bury St Edmunds Town Council chairman, who came up with the idea, said: “Hollywood has its walk of fame which is a fantastic tourist attraction and Bury St Edmunds has already hosted two wonderful and unique trails around the town with the wolves and last year the World War One-themed trail.

The Theatre Royal's 200th birthday celebrations launched in February Picture: AARON WEIGHTThe Theatre Royal's 200th birthday celebrations launched in February Picture: AARON WEIGHT

“So with the Theatre Royal celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, it seemed an ideal opportunity to combine some of the best elements of those other popular and successful trails. I am so pleased to see how enthusiastically the idea has been supported.”

Those behind the project gathered at the theatre on Wednesday – World Theatre Day – to officially launch the trail.

Money raised through sponsorship of the trail will go towards the £170,000 the theatre needs each year to support its operating costs.

MORE: More people sign up for Theatre Royal fundraising walk

Karen Simpson, theatre director, said: “World Theatre Day, which has ‘sharing the joy of theatre with others’ among its aims, is the perfect day to launch this trail and it’s wonderful to have had so much interest in it, even though we are two months ahead of the stars being put into their locations.

“I don’t believe there is anything else like this in the UK at the moment although I understand the music industry is planning a Walk of Fame in London this year.”

As with previous trails, those who ‘find’ all the stars will be able to enter a draw for one of 10 prizes.

The stars, made by Bury-based company Coastline Graphics, will be in place around the town between May 25 and October 27.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds BID, which represents town centre businesses, said: “Our Bury St Edmunds is gaining a reputation for its unique and quirky trails, having worked with local artists for the previous highly successful events to support local charities.

“I’m sure this one will prove equally popular as residents and visitors to the town centre alike try to find everyone from local celebrities such as Rick Wakeman and Ian Lavender to Dame Judi Dench and Joanna Lumley.”

Sponsorship opportunites are still available for Chris Clarkson, Britt Lenting and Oliver Mawdsley, and anyone interested can contact the theatre on 01284 829942.

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